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Dickerson to teach football skills at camp
Canadian football pro, Cedric Dickerson (24), takled his fair share of opponents during his career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He will be hosting a youth football camp at the LCRD July 17-19. - photo by Photo provided.
Former Liberty County Panther football player and Canadian Football League professional Cedric Dickerson is coming to the Liberty County Recreation Department for his annual youth football camp.
Dickerson, who played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for three years, will be joined by standout Yellow Jacket defensive end Michael Johnson and three-year Jacksonville Jaguar outside tackle Richard Collier.
I decided to do the camp because it was something God told me to do," Dickerson said. "Plus, I promised my dad and mom (Leroy and Doris Lampkin) I would do it once I made the CFL. I picked LCRD because that's where most of the kids in Hinesville get their first taste of football."
Dickerson and his cousin Johnson are originally from Selma, Ala., but Dickerson played for LCHS after his family moved to Hinesville. After high school, Dickerson played at Valdosta State where he was a three-time team captain, three-time All-Conference, two-time All-South and a Daktronics All-South All American. He was part of three conference titles Valdosta State earned and he played on the first team to make it to the national championship game in school's history.
He hopes to transfer his experience to the children interested in developing their football skills and said the game is not just a physical challenge.
"I would say football is 80 percent mental and only 20 percent physical," he said. "You can be the most physical player in the world, but if you can't line up and think, you won't be playing, and nobody can see how physical you are from the bench."
Johnson's perspective on the game was almost similar.
"I believe it is 10 percent physical and 90 percent mental," he said. "The mindset and thinking of football can relate to so many other areas of life. You learn a lot about mental toughness, perseverance and endurance. That can be applied to anything."
"I would say the main lesson I learned through football was how to deal with adversity," Dickerson added. "We can deal with adversity in two ways, we can take the easy route and give in to it or we can stand tall and keep pushing forward. Adversity will come but how we respond to it helps shape who we are as human beings."
The camp is scheduled for July 17-19 and is open to both boys and girls ages 7-14. While the past few years mostly boys have come out to participate, Dickerson encourages girls who want to learn about football or meet football players to come out and be a part of the fun.
"To be honest I haven't had a young lady attend yet, but would be happy to have them," he said. "This camp is open to all kids not just boys. In some cases girls have more of a desire to play but don't because of how football is viewed in society."
"It means the world to me," Johnson said about working with kids. "Any time I get to be around young people, I want to be able to give them something that may help them in life. No matter how big or small it may seem. Kids watch us and they listen. You always want to help make a better way for those willing to learn."
Dickerson also said he enjoys working with children.
"I try to instill hope in the kids that their dreams can come true with faith and hard work," he said. "It gives them a chance to rub shoulders with guys who were once just like them. They get a chance to ask questions themselves and have fun with the guys. In Hinesville we don't get the same exposure as kids in Valdosta or Atlanta. I never had the chance to have fun with guys who play in the NFL or guys who are predicted to be first round pick. The impact of that is huge."
Dickerson and Johnson said whether one or 100 show up for the camp, they promised everyone involved would have a fun time.
"As long we're able to teach them something or make a difference in their life, it would be well worth it," Johnson said.
"I would like to thank God, my family, Baconton Missionary Baptist Church, Mr. Ballesteros at Liberty Chrysler, Mr. Frasier and the Eleven Black Men, LCRD, Liberty County High, and all the parents and kids who participate in the camp," Dickerson said. "God put me in this position. If I can make a positive impact on one kid I have been obedient and done what I was placed on this earth for."
Registration for the football camp is $35 and can be done through the LCRD. For more information call the LCRD at 876-5359 or Dickerson at (813) 977-1182.
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